The Orissa government has turned down an offer from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to host a centenary film festival of Indian cinema in the state. The state has said that its Rules of Business does not permit it to hold film festivals.
The Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) in association with the National Film Archive of India, Pune, has been celebrating the 100th year of Indian cinema by organising film festivals in state capitals during December and January 2013. Ten landmark Indian films were to be screened in the festival as a tribute to the great filmmakers.
While the DFF was supposed to foot the expense of transporting the films from Delhi along with the airfare of 5-7 film personalities, the state government was to look after their accommodation facilities and publicity.
DFF director Rajiv Kumar Jain had written to the state government in July on this matter. But the Culture Department, in a letter dated October 16, informed him that the Rules of Business of the department does permit it to do so.
It said that only activities like development of arts like dance, drama, music and fine arts and art education is permitted under the rules.
The department, as per the rules, is also allowed to conduct student excursions for educational and cultural purposes, theatre and drama performances, and deputation of cultural troupes to different states and outside the country.
Filmmaker Kapilash Bhuyan, who is now directing an Oriya movie on Maoism, said the attitude showed how much the officials cared for good cinema. “Earlier Orissa Film Development Corporation used to host film festivals. But they stopped it in 1987. Nowadays only a couple of private persons are organising small festivals. A national film festival would have given people of Orissa an opportunity to see classic cinema and interact with eminent film persons,” he said.